Homeless Teen Determined to Attend College Receives Outpouring of Support
Homeless teen Fred Barley set out on a 6 hour bike ride to enroll in classes at Gordon State College and had no idea that the journey would end up changing his entire life.
The 19-year-old rode his little brother’s bike from Conyers to Barnesville so that he could register for his second semester of college at Gordon State and was discovered by police officers after receiving a call about someone sleeping in a tent on campus. Instead of the officers accosting him, they sat down with him and listened to his story.
It turned out Barley had arrived at the college two weeks before registration and move-in, so he resolved to sleep in his tent until he was able to do so. The cops understood and decided to help Barley out. “He was so understanding and he said, ‘I definitely I applaud you for doing this. We can’t allow you to stay here, but I have somewhere you can stay,’” Barley told Channel 2 Action News.
“The stuff that’s happening with police officers, I am black and he didn’t care what color I was. He just helped me, and that meant a lot,” he said.
The officers then took him to a motel and paid for his next two nights. Barley’s story started gaining major traction and support after one of the officer’s wives posted Fred’s story on Facebook. Soon after, hundreds of people stepped up to help the young man, including Debbie Adamson, the owner of local pizzeria, DB’s Pizzeria.
“I created a position for him before he walked in my door. I didn’t know his name. I didn’t know the color of his skin. I didn’t care. I’ve been there so I guess I had a soft spot for anyone who is that determined to succeed in life,” she told the news station.
A Facebook page has since been created to continue helping the determined young man, as well as a GoFundMe, which ended up raising $184,266 of its $150k goal to help Fred succeed.
Fred has since posted a video thanking all of those who have gone out of their way to support him, which you can watch below:
Photo Credit: Success for Fred Facebook Group